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Advice for men who suck at picking women up at bars

Anna Pulley, @annapulley

RedEye's sex columnist

2:59 PM CDT, March 15, 2012

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I'm terrible at talking to women in bars. I always feel so awkward, and never know what to say. On the rare occasion that I've gotten a few numbers from girls, it never leads anywhere. What can I do to get over myself?

--Bar Not So Fly


I doubt I'm the first one to suggest this, but maybe you should try meeting women somewhere other than bars?

Bars are weird spaces. It's sort of assumed that women who go alone to bars are either very sad or desperately trying to get laid, otherwise why would they be there? God forbid we just want to watch the damn game in peace! That said, talking to women in bars should be no more challenging than talking to women outside of bars. In fact, it should be easier because you are aided by alcohol and maybe even a jukebox stocked with Ace of Base, which everyone can agree is the most erotically-charged music known to womankind.

It also depends on what you expect to get out of these boozy encounters. It's very rare (your chances are around 8-10 percent) that you'll meet your soul mate by bellying up at a TGIFriday's. If you're solely trying to get laid, I would seriously try to cultivate an allure of "I'm not here solely to get laid." Women can smell that sh*t from a mile away, like Axe Body Spray.

WikiHow has a 24-step process for hitting on girls at bars (as well as an instructional video involving someone in Ron Jeremy drag) with tips like, "Walk around with a big, cool-looking drink," "dance with an ugly girl," and "check out the bathroom." I can personally tell you that all of these tactics have worked on me, especially the last one. (Tangent: That's actually not true. The few times I've been in men's bathrooms, I've been wholly ignored. Y'all really don't make eye contact in there!)

Non-seriousness aside, if what you're doing isn't working, then change things up. Pick a new venue if you're going to the same one constantly. Do you often head out alone? Then try skanking it up with an entourage. Change your wardrobe, change your intro, and definitely change your attitude. Flirting with strangers is sort of like organized religion; the only way to really "get it" is to build up a high shame tolerance. And to practice often! The more you talk to girls, the easier it gets. This doesn't mean you'll be instantly swathed in thongs or anything, but it should help you get over your nerves and increase your confidence levels. You should also know that if a woman wants to sleep with you, a little awkwardness is not going to stop her--short of, perhaps, a botched attempt at a clown porn joke.

Want to ask Anna an anonymous question about love, sex or dating? Email your quandary to redeyedating@gmail.com. 


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